Tagged: Pat Burrell

World Series Rematch – Advantage, Phillies

The losing streak, 6 long, depressing games, is finally over!  And the cure to what ails the Phillies?  You guessed it – Road Trip!  Landing in Tampa to play their 2008 World Series foes, the Phillies rolled right over the Tampa Bay Rays tonight.  Notching 6 runs in the first half of the 1st inning set the tone for the game.  Some good pitching, lots of hitting, a few home runs and a trio of Rays errors got the job done.

P6216523.jpgJamie Moyer put forth a great effort tonight and allowed just one run in 6 innings of work; he struck out 4, walked 3 and allowed 5 hits.  Former Phillie, Pat Burrell, was mystified by his old teammate, going 0-2 with a walk against Moyer.  Sorry Pat – and yes, we still miss your presence :O(

As for the offense, Chase Utley was on fire tonight!  He went 3 for 5 with a single, double and a home run, driving in 4 runs.  Shane Victorino joined the Utley-Show with 2 hits, 2 walks and an RBI.  The rookie, John Mayberry, stood out tonight as well with a 3-run homer.  Yesterday at the Phillies Phestival, Mayberry was told by a fan, “I am glad to see you here in the big leagues!”; Mayberry responded with, “So am I.”  He showed his gratitude tonight.  Mayberry is now batting .292 with 3 homers and 7 RBI in 24 at-bats.

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A few more rookies / new Phillies were given the opportunity to shine tonight, as more players are down with injuries (Condrey put on DL today; Lidge & Eyre still out; Ibanez still out with groin strain).  Tyler Walker pitched 2 scoreless innings  and then Sergio Escalona handled the 9th; Escalona nailed down the final 3 outs and the Phillies went on to win, 10-1.

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In other injury / illness news, Ryan Howard did join the team today after an infection that sidelined him for a few days.  Howard served as the DH and went 1 for 4 with a double and an RBI.  Great to see Ryan feeling better!

Be sure to check out my PHOTO ALBUM from yesterday’s Phillies Phestival in case you missed it earlier today.

And then, make sure you keep VOTING for your Phillies All-Stars!  VOTE up to 25 times per day, per email address!

Photos by Jenn

 

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As The Ankle Turns

The soap opera that is the Curse of Cole Hamels continues…  First, he hurts his left elbow in Spring Training and misses his Opening Day start; then in his last start, he gets hit in his pitching shoulder (left arm) with a line drive; and yesterday, he turns his left ankle while fielding a bunt that he knew ahead of time was going to be coming.  The batter turned and squared to bunt before Hamels threw a pitch.  So, is this man made of glass or is he just cursed on the left side of his body?  Will he ever finish a game in 2009?  Maybe we should cover him up in bubble wrap and then seal him in a hermetic chamber.  Just a thought…Hamels ankle.jpg

Cole tossed one warm-up pitch after the turned ankle and then, in obvious frustration, he tossed the ball at manager Charlie Manuel and walked off the field in dramatic fashion.  Cue the cheesy soap opera music…  The good news is, the MRI’s were negative and it appears to be only a sprain.  Hamels told the media he expects to be ready for his next start, but that remains to be seen.  After being very disappointed last year when he did not make the All-Star team, it looks like this year will be no different after this roller coaster start to the season.

The real shame of it all is that Hamels was off to a great start in these last few outings, only to be pulled due to injury.  Last night, he had only given up 4 hits and not surrendered a run before leaving in the 5th with only 1 out recorded.  Chad Durbin came in to take over for Hamels though and pitched a superb 3 2/3 innings of 1-run ball.  That run, an Adam Dunn solo shot, was the only hit recorded off Durbin.  Kudos to Durbin for saving the day!  What an effort to pick up his teammate!

Also doing a lot of the heavy lifting last night was Chase Utley; Utley took his revenge on John Lannan, the same pitcher who broke his hand 2 years ago.  In the 3rd, Utley took Lannan deep for a 2-run shot and then completed the humiliation with a solo shot in the 5th.  That’s what you get for breaking this super-star’s hand!

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Pedro Feliz hit a 3-run homer in the 3rd, continuing his hot streak.  Feliz is now batting .333.  And Raul Ibanez is relentless in his pursuit to call Philly his new home, blasting a solo home run in the 8th.  Ibanez and Utley are now tied for first place in home runs in the majors with Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez; all four players have 7 homers.

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Congrats also to Jimmy Rollins who finally recorded his first stolen base of the season last night!  J-Roll was 1 for 4 at the plate and seems to be in the midst of waking up offensively and getting his batting average out of the gutter; it currently stands at .195, which should change very soon.

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And now on to our Fan of the Game:  This is Buddy from Philadelphia and he is a big Phillies fan.  Buddy was especially high on Raul Ibanez, as I heard chants of “Pat who?” echo throughout the outfield.  Well, we do still miss Pat Burrell, but Ibanez has left no doubt that not only will that role be filled, but he will give us a more consistent bat and so far, great defense as well.  Let’s hear it for RAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUL!

I have posted a Photo Album from the game; these will be a bit different than what you usually see from me as I had a seat in straight away centerfield at the top of the section last night.  A different, and much more distant, perspective for sure.

Romero Sues

JC Romero is suing the company of the supplement he took that was tainted with an unlisted ingredient which caused him to test positive for steroids and resulted in a ridiculous 50-game suspension.  He is also suing the manufacturer and one of the people named in the law suit is Patrick Arnold, a chemist who has already spent time in jail after the BALCO scandal.  Just a few things to note here: Supplements are not regulated by the government and therefore, even if MLB approves of a supplement, it can still cause a player to test positive if it has been tainted in the manufacturing process.  Romero did get an ok from the MLBPA to take the supplement, but did not call some 800# to check again, and so MLB decided he was negligent.  He got the same suspension as would a person who actually took steroids.  Disgusting.

I have been thinking this over for the last few days now and trying to put those thoughts into words.  This has been an emotional ride for JC, his family, his teammates, and his fans.  As for myself, I know personally what an honest and forthright human being JC is and can tell you that not only is he innocent, but he is a victim here.  I hope he takes these people for all that they have and that this sets a precedent for other players who may be victimized by this system.  MLB needs to revisit their policies and create a fair regulation process.

There have been some questions about why Romero is not suing MLB.  What may not be widely known is that when he first tested positive, he was offered a reduced suspension, 25 games to begin immediately, if he agreed to waive his rights to an appeal.  However, he would have missed out on playing in the World Series if he took the deal.  Not wanting to let down his team and knowing he was innocent, he turned down the deal and chose his TEAM over his own personal well-being.  He knew that if he lost the appeal, he would get the 50 game suspension and lose out on more than a million dollars in salary.  And still, Romero did the right thing and should be commended for that.  This is a man who always does the right thing and yet, MLB punished him for it.  The reason he is not suing MLB is probably because as another term of going to appeal, he most likely had to waive his rights to future litigation.  A very sad an unfortunate set of circumstance; so again, I hope he slaughters these companies in court.

Next Up

So the Phillies will work on their 2nd straight sweep tonight, trying to beat the Nationals again starting at 7:05pm.  While you are watching the game, log on to VOTE for your All-Stars!  Vote a maximum of 25 times per day, per email address.  Get the Phillies to St. Louis!!  And as always, feel free to leave your comments and thoughts below.  Go Phillies!

Photos by Jenn

 

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Moyer Loves Fish…Mmmm!

Fish Fry Moyer.jpg

Jamie Moyer completed the sweep of the Florida Marlins today by frying the pesky Fish; his record now stands at 12-1 against the Marlins.  This win was a back breaker for the Marlins, who lost 13-2, and even had to use their right-fielder, Cody Ross, to pitch the final inning.  Moyer’s pitching baffled the aggressive young hitters who struck out 6 times and managed only 1 run against Moyer.  Great defense was a help as well, with Raul Ibanez making an unbelievable snag of a long fly ball against the wall in left.  Had he missed it, it would have plated at least 2 more runs for the Fish.  Ibanez continues to impress, silencing all doubters who were upset by the exit of Pat Burrell.

Jimmy Rollins got the day off to reflect on his awful start to the season and Eric Bruntlett filled in nicely, going 1 for 4 with 1 RBI, 1 walk and 2 runs scored.  Pedro Feliz must like fried Fish as well; he had 3 hits, 2 RBI, 1 walk and 2 runs scored.  Yummy!  In fact, all of the Phillies, Moyer included, had at least one hit in the game except Chris Coste.  Coste also had a brain-fart in the 5th inning when he grabbed a bunted ball and threw to 2nd instead of getting the sure out at first base.  Not his day, for sure.  But luckily, the rest of the team was hungry and happy to gobble up the Fishies.  My favorite part of the following video is about 1 min, 15 seconds in…you’ll see why:

The Phillies would love to continue their feeding frenzy tomorrow when they take on the Washington Nationals at home with Joe Blanton on the mound.  Start time is 7:05pm and if you are hungry too, head out to the ballpark; it is dollar dog night!  Not as fun as Fish heads, but still pretty good.

In case you missed it in my earlier blog, I have posted a Photo Album of the Iron Pigs game from yesterday.  You will see shots of Carlos Ruiz rehabbing, Kyle Kendrick pitching, the park, the mascots and much more!  Enjoy :O)

And as usual, don’t forget to VOTE for your All-Star’s today!  Get your Phillies into the game!!  Vote a maximum of 25 times per day, per email address.

Photo by Jenn

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Let The Healing (And The Winning) Begin!

After a highly emotional week with the passing of our beloved Harry Kalas, the Phillies showed signs of recovering today as they pulled out a 5-4 win over the Padres in dramatic fashion.  Raul Ibanez did his version of the “laying on of hands” by smacking a 2-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th inning.  And as payment for this great, selfless act of guru-like healing, Ibanez got a shaving cream pie in the face.  Perhaps he would have preferred a bouquet of flowers?  Actually, I am sure he did not mind too much; the pie to the face is much like a fraternity initiation; after taking Pat Burrell’s spot on the club, he is now officially a member.  Ibanez has won over the fans and more importantly, his teammates.  Still miss ya Pat, but Ibanez is getting the job done.Ibanez walk-off.jpg

Also getting things done around here is Ryan Howard, who had, and seriously, I never imagined writing this….he had an amazing day defensively!  Stop rubbing your eyes; Howard’s glove has arrived!  And not a moment too soon for the grieving Phils who desperately needed a win.  Howard made 3 incredible plays today including a J-Roll-style diving grab and a running catch in foul territory.  Last year, he would not have made those plays.  This year, the missing 20 pounds plus the extra effort spent working on his the fielding has paid off.  Not only that, but his bat is red hot!  Howard went 3 for 4 today, including the hit that set up Ibanez for the walk-off.

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The other hitter to watch this week is Chase Utley; he has now hit a home run in each of the last 3 games, including today’s 2-run shot in the 6th.  Looks like Utley is locked in a ready to do some serious damage….I hope!  Jimmy Rollins had the day off as Eric Bruntlett stood in, but he made one pinch-hit appearance and that would up being a solo shot in the 8th.  It was his first career pinch-hit home run and only his 2nd successful pinch-hit in 14 tries.  Perhaps the wheels are back on for J-Roll?  We shall see…

As for the pitching, JA Happ was the star of the day, coming in on relief for Chan Ho Park and pitching 3 scoreless innings.  Park had another rough outing and lasted just 5 innings, giving away 4 runs on 8 hits and a walk.  Makes you wonder, how many more sub-par outings will the Phillies allow from Park before they stick him in the pen and give the spot to Happ?  Frankly, I felt Happ earned the spot in Spring, but the powers that be figured he would be thrilled to make the club either way, whereas Park made a VERY big deal out of being a starter.  Not wanting to lose Park mentally may have factored into the decision.  Park did perform very well in Spring, but if you look beyond stats, Happ was equal or better and it made more sense from a management standpoint to give the 5th spot to Happ.  So, I am just going to pull a Forrest Gump here and say, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

Today was also a celebration of the Phanatic’s Birthday, which is always a treat for the fans.  This year, many of the Phanatic’s friends joined the party as well a magician, Michael Grandinetti.  The magician did a few tricks with the Phanatic, including making him appear out of nowhere…impressive.  And there was a birthday cake made entirely out of Tastycakes…Mmmmm!  Here are some photos from those events:

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The Phillies conclude their series with the Padres tomorrow night at 7:05pm with the elder, Jamie Moyer on the mound.  In the meantime, enjoy the Photo Album from today’s game.

Photos by Jenn

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Hamels Headache



P3046066 Hamels.jpgThe Phillies suffered a migraine-sized Hamels headache today as Cole was unable to regain his 2008 form.  In only 3 2/3 innings, Hamels allowed 7 runs on 11 hits and a walk; not a very MVP-like performance.  Hamels left pitches up in the zone and his fastball topped out at about 87mph.  The Rockies hitters took advantage.  JA Happ came into the came to finish off the 4th inning and eventually pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings, giving up only 1 hit.  This was a nice outing for the young pitcher who is trying to solidify his spot in the bullpen.    


Oblique.jpgMore bad news for the Phillies came in the 6th inning when catcher Carlos Ruiz was lifted from the game with a right oblique strain.  This is a tricky, and usually very painful type of injury, so it will be a wait-and-see situation to find out if Ruiz will be alright.  Oh, my aching head!  Please pass the Tylenol…

One bright spot on the day was Jayson Werth, who went 4 for 4 with a home run, 2 doubles and 3 runs scored.  Not so bright was Ryan Howard who hit into THREE double plays in the game, killing any chance the Phillies had at a rally.  Also giving Phillies fans a tummy ache to go along with the headache was Raul Ibanez, who not only went 0 for 4 in the game, but his fumblings and stumblings in left field made ex-Phillie Pat Burrell’s fielding look graceful.

Chad Durbin nailed down the win for the Rockies when he came in to pitch the 8th inning and gave up 3 more runs, making it a 10-2 game.  Durbin’s last outing was very sloppy as well; I am hoping he is just a slow starter and not carrying over his troubles from late in 2008.
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Maybe the team should have handed out more rings tonight?  1 win in 4 games, with that win coming after receiving their World Series Rings, makes it seem like they need some higher incentive to play.  Then again, the Phillies usually suck in April so, welcome to just another season of Phillies baseball!  The saga continues at 8:10pm tomorrow…

 

Photo Credits:   Hamels by Jenn

Dog –

http://janeward.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/bulldog-with-headache.jpg

Oblique – USA Today

 

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Phillies Walk Away With Rings And The Win

I suppose I had better run out and buy a lottery ticket.  Yesterday, I predicted that Phillies would need to score exactly 12 runs to win today’s game; the final score?  Phillies 12, Braves 11.  Yes, all bow to the great, powerful and all-knowing Jenn; she is a genius.  ;O)  Now, in order for my prediction to be totally accurate, the score had to be 12-11 thus, necessitating 12 total runs for the Phillies.  But by the 9th inning, the score was 12-10 and Brad Lidge was in to close the game; after 1 out was recorded,  I told the guy next to me that Lidge was about to give up a home run to make the final score 12-11 and BAM!  Matt Diaz sent Lidge’s offering over the left field wall.  Lidge got Garrett Anderson out swinging and voila!  Clearly, I am psychic. ;O) 

And yet, this off-the-wall foretelling was not the strangest thing to happen today.  The Phillies were losing the game 10-3 by the seventh inning stretch.  Shane Victorino started the bottom of the 7th by grounding out and it looked like that might me the nail in the coffin for the Phils.  Apparently not.  A series of small miracles occurred for the Phillies starting with a Chase Utley bloop single that fell into no-man’s land and then Ryan Howard was hit by a pitch.  After that, the weirdest string of event I have even personally witnessed in a game, turned a 10-3 deficit into an 11-10 lead.  The Braves bullpen helped out with 5 walks plus the Howard hit-by-pitch; 4 runs scored off those walks.  The other 4 runs were the result of 3 singles and a fielder’s choice.  The Phillies advanced slowly along the base path in 90 foot increments until all 8 runs were in and the inning ended on a Jayson Werth fly ball.  Several words come to mind here:  Unbelievable; incredible; mind-boggling; implausible.  Call it what you will, but in the end, it is the greatest come from behind victory I have ever had the pleasure to witness.

Here are a few game shots; Raul Ibanez scores as Chris Coste tells him not to slide; Rollins tries to knock Feliz in; Utley makes a running grab:040809.jpg

Perhaps the donning of the World Series rings prior to the game had a bit to do with the unorthodox come-back win?  The biggest ring I have ever seen holds 3.84 karats of diamonds; 103 in total, to represent the Phillies 2008 win total.  The base is 14-kt white gold crowned with a Ruby inlay, topped with the Phillies “P” logo.  Take a look:

WS Ring and box.jpg

Each player was called up one by one to receive their ring, including ex-Phillies Pat Burrell, Geoff Jenkins and yes, even Adam Eaton.  Burrell received a huge ovation and Pat Gillick, formerly known here as Grumpy Gillick, broke down and cried as he hugged Burrell.  Jenkins received a warm welcome also but Eaton was booed mercilessly with chants of “Give us our money back!” heard around the stadium.  Taking it in stride and obviously expecting the greeting, Eaton smiled and waved both arms around in the air in a sarcastic and unaffected manner.  Below, you will see Eaton waving to the crowd; Burrell & Gillick hugging; Chase Utley getting his ring:

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In the next few days, I will put together a photo album with all the Ring Ceremony pictures and a few shots from the game and post it.  I have pictures of ALL the players getting their rings!  Right now, I need to get some sleep :O)  But stay tuned!  More to come…

And now for the Photo(s) of the Day; Shane Victorino was goofing around during his pre-inning catch with Ibanez and nearly whacked himself with the ball in, um, well…I think the picture tells the story:

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Off day tommorow; Phillies take on the Rockies Friday at 4:10pm EST.


(Photos by Jenn, except ring close-ups – Philly.com)

 

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Phillies Opening Day Preview

Quick recap of the last 2 Spring games:  The Phillies beat the Rays yesterday, 3-2, thanks in part to a Jason Donald walk of RBI single.  Today, they lost 9-7.  Cole Hamels, still rehabbing his sore elbow, pitched 5 innings, allowing 6 hits, 6 runs and a walk.  Not a great outing, but he got his work in and should be able to start against the Rockies next week.  Pat Burrell led the game off for the Rays in his only appearance today, greeting former teammate Hamels with a shot to left field that, even against the strong wind, flew into the seats.  A nice exit from Philly for Burrell who was visibly emotional after the rousing applause he received from Phillies fans over the past two days.  We will miss him!

Tomorrow the REAL games begin!!  So, have you seen the Phillies Opening Day/Night Schedule?  Here are the highlights:

5:05 p.m. – All gates open

5:28-6:28 p.m. – Phillies batting practice

6:28 – 7:18 p.m. – Braves batting practice

7:23 p.m.Cardinal O’Hara High School marching band will perform as the 2009 Phillies enter the ballpark, greeted by Mayor Nutter and Charlie Manuel.

7:38 p.m. – America the Beautiful will be sung by the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Men’s Chorale, directed by Jeffrey R. Smith, as members of the Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard unfurl the American Flag. State Flags will be carried onto the field by the Philadelphia Police and Fire Department personnel.

7:42 p.m. – Introductions start

7:53 p.m. – National Anthem: Will be performed by Katie Stam, Miss America 2009.

7:56 p.m.U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Parachute team will parachute onto the field (weather permitting), bringing the first balls.

8:00 p.m.NASA astronaut Chris Ferguson, who wore a Phillies jersey in space, will present the jersey to Charlie Manuel.

8:01 p.m. – Ceremonial First Pitch: Will be thrown by former Phillies General Manager Pat Gillick and Ben Lo, representing Modell’s Sporting Goods.

8:09 p.m. – Play Ball!

seal.jpgLet me just note a few things here:  The Phillies, the reigning WORLD CHAMPIONS, are having the Philadelphia Boys Choir sing America The Beautiful, like they do every year.  We will then have Miss America sing the National Anthem; but seriously, should I be excited about a pageant queen?  Maybe some of the men are happy, but I just don’t get it.  The Boston Red Sox, according to our friend Julia at Julia’s Rants are getting Grammy Award winner, Seal, to sing for them on Opening Day!  SEAL!  Where, or where, have the Phillies gone wrong??  I am so depressed. 

Now let us move on to the first pitch:  Former GM, grumpy man and Nationals mascot look-alike, Pat Gillick, Gillick mascot.jpgwill toss the first pitch.  Is this seriously the best the WORLD F*@%# CHAMPIONS could do?  I had heard rumors all week that maybe President Obama would visit Philly for the occasion, but he will toss the first pitch on Wednesday in DC when the Phillies take on the Nationals in their home opener. But what about Will Smith, who is a huge Phillies fan?  Or even Jamie Foxx, who was just in Philly filming a new movie?  Heck, I would settle for Patti LaBelle at this point.  But noooooo…we get Pat freakin’ Gilick!  Don’t get me wrong, I love Grumpy Gillick and all, but this is not exactly a treat for Phillies fans; we see him every day!  We want… no, we deserve, a special treat for Opening Day!  The Phils had no issue with raising the ticket prices, but could not be bothered to get anyone more interesting to toss a pitch??  Again, Gillick brought us a World Championship, but I think even he would agree that his sheer entertainment value is a tad less than Seal.  UGH!

Ok, maybe I am over-reacting.  You know how we redheads get sometimes.  But take a look at a few other teams, who did NOT win the World Series, and see what they are doing for Opening Day:  Both the Yankees and the SF Giants have HERO Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who successfully landed a plane in New York’s Hudson River this past January, saving the lives of everyone on board, to toss their first pitch.  The Reds have musician and former husband of Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey to throw their first pitch.  And they are in OHIO, folks!  That’s right, Ohio out-did Philly.  The Houston Astros have 4-time Grammy winner, Lyle Lovett, to sing the National Anthem.  And of course, the Nats get the Prez.  Okay, I think you get the picture.

Philly will have the traditional Army Parachute Team and the NASA astronaut is a nice touch as well; but is it asking too much to add a little pizzazz to the ceremonies?  Well, if it has to be Pat Gillick, how about we at least dress him up a bit?  You know, just to add some Philly flavor to the guy:

Rapper Gillick.jpg

And then, let’s invite this cute rapper kitty to handle the music for the National Anthem.  Not a Grammy winner, but still entertaining:

KittyRapper.jpg

Well, the show must go on, with or without the Rappin’ Cat, and so it will.  Sunday night, first pitch at 8:09pm – I will be back with photos!  See you there!

Photo Credits:

Seal – http://www.arjanwrites.com/arjanwrites/images/2007/09/22/arjanwrites_seal2.jpg

Gangsta Dude – http://hoppingintopuddles.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/hip-hop_gangsta-rap_lil_john.jpg

Kitty – http://media.photobucket.com/image/rapper/boo_boo221/KittyRapper.jpg

 

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